Monthly Archives: October 2008

Is it in the Bag?

If you visit my blog on a regular basis the name Darlene will be familiar as a regular commenter. She lives in Tucson, Arizona and joined the world of blogging last July. So what is so unusual about that? I hear you ask. Nothing really unusual I agree, until you read her bio:

I am an 83 year old widow living alone.

How many other folk at 83 years of age do you know that set up and run a blog? Why am I telling you about Darlene? Think about it… with all those years of living behind her, what wonderful stories and experiences she has to tell us.

One post in particular is very well worth reading in these days of world recession. I realise, that to many young people the idea of scrimping and going without may seem a little like science fiction. I remember life in the fifties, a time of make do and mend. A time when ‘Credit’ and ‘Debt’ were considered as deadly as cancer and aids, we scrimped and saved for weeks, months and sometimes years before buying luxuries.

Now go and visit Darlene and read her piece about the Great Depression and the years that followed. I hope we don’t ever have to go back to that way of living, but can continue on as normal.

My good friend Rowan asked a question earlier in the week: What is normal? His quotation from Ellen Goodman voiced my thoughts more eloquently than I ever could.

Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for – in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.

Does Ellen have it in the bag?

*~*~*~*

So my final attempt at creating spot colour in my photos for p4oi stays with the bag theme. I have to admit this spot colour idea proved much more difficult than I first imagined and I doubt that it will become a favourite pastime. Worth a try though.

You might have heard

It is enough to bring on a bout of SAD!

First of all we heard it on RTE

Then The King confirms it

It is spreading like the plague so be careful or before you know it, we will reach the point of no return. So what is my fevered mumbling all about? Have you not guessed?

.

.

.

Christmas is Cancelled


Now I’ve said it! That young whipper-snapper at Dec’s Rambling spells it out in no uncertain terms, go read it!

Hang on! Hang on!

Before you go galloping off, spare a thought for The Queen of England with that enormous house with 775 rooms to heat. I think she is finding it tough at the moment.

Would you agree?

UPDATE: A comment added on 11th August 2009 from Andy McKinna tells me he did this picture for b3ta.com.  Thanks Andy!

Thursday Special ~ Shopping

‘How do you wish to pay, cash or credit card?’ Asked the girl at the tills, after folding items the woman wished to purchase.
Standing behind her in the queue, I watched as she set her bag on the counter and fumbled for her wallet, I noticed a remote control for a television set fall from her bag onto the floor
‘So, do you always carry your TV remote?’ I asked as I bent to pick it up.
‘No,’ she replied, ‘but my husband refused to come shopping with me, and I figured this was the most evil thing I could do to him legally!

~*~*~*~

I don’t know of anyone with a birthday on 30th of October, but these pink balloons caught my eye that day at the Abbey Centre shopping Mall. Once again I thought of our p4oi and of course they are ideal for 30th of the month. You might notice that I managed to achieve two areas of colour with different hues.

“Mum! Have you……?”

The voice trailed down the stairs to where I was sitting in the bright new kitchen.

Well it can’t be a bus fare that she wants, since she has a car sitting at the door. Would it be a needle and thread? She never has a needle and thread when she needs it. I heard the quick putter-pat down the stairs and with a warm rush of air she was there across the table from me. I looked up with the unvoiced question on my face.

“I was just thinking….” said she.

When my Elly is thinking it is time to start worrying. She has done a fair bit of thinking over the years and you never know where it will lead.

“What were you thinking? I asked eventually.

“What do you want to do with your blog?” She asked.

“Why, what is wrong with my blog? I said looking worried.

“Oh, there is nothing wrong with your blog”. She said. “I mean…. I mean, have you decided what you want to happen to the blog?”

“Excuse me!” I said almost choking on my coffee. “What do you mean – happen to my blog? Sure you just told me it was fine as it is.”

“No mum, I mean afterwards…. When you are gone…. When you cock your toes!”

See! I told you her thinking was dangerous!

“Well I suppose you could put up a short post, to tell everyone that Grannymar has gone to Toyboy heaven and close the comments. There would be no point in keeping it going when I am gone.”

What do you want to happen to your blog? I bet you never thought about it!

p40i

I met Brian & Maxine at Junction 1 Shopping outlet several months ago. Brian’s pink polo shirt caught my eye with Pink for October in mind. He willing posed for me and I liked the shot. I am happier with the ‘pink’ in this one than with some of my earlier attempts. Each time I try I discover something new. Hopefully I will remember what I did for the remaining few photos in the folder!

I wanted to have a male model at some stage of the month because breast cancer is not the preserve only of the ladies. We all need to be diligent in examining our breasts. If you have a partner then make it fun and a pleasurable experience. Grannymar encourages you to do so. Make it a regular part of your calendar.

Food Monday ~ Fruit & Nut Cake (no Flour)

Fruit & Nut Cake (no Flour)
Preheat oven to170°C

75g Ready soaked dried Apricots
75g Raisins
100g Glace Cherries chopped
175g Ground Almonds
3 tablespoons Ruby Port or Sherry
3 Eggs separated
75g Butter
75g Caster Sugar
½ teaspoon Almond Essence
75g toasted chopped Nuts (almonds, walnuts & Brazil nuts)

Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Put raisins and apricots in a little saucepan with port or sherry. Heat gently, to allow the fruit to soak up the alcohol. Transfer into a bowl to cool. Then add the cherries and nuts to the cooled fruit. Also mix 2 tablespoons of the weighed ground almonds and toss these together. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. In another mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until soft & fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks & almond essence. Stir in the remaining ground almonds into the cake mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold ½ into the egg, fat and sugar mixture. Then add the fruit and nut mixture and mix. Finally, stir in the remaining egg whites until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Level off the surface – no well and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin. When cool, dust with icing sugar.

Slice thickly with a sharp knife.

Food Monday ~ Fruit & Nut Cake (no Flour)

Fruit & Nut Cake (no Flour)
Preheat oven to170°C

75g Ready soaked dried Apricots
75g Raisins
100g Glace Cherries chopped
175g Ground Almonds
3 tablespoons Ruby Port or Sherry
3 Eggs separated
75g Butter
75g Caster Sugar
½ teaspoon Almond Essence
75g toasted chopped Nuts (almonds, walnuts & Brazil nuts)

Line a 2lb loaf tin with baking parchment. Put raisins and apricots in a little saucepan with port or sherry. Heat gently, to allow the fruit to soak up the alcohol. Transfer into a bowl to cool. Then add the cherries and nuts to the cooled fruit. Also mix 2 tablespoons of the weighed ground almonds and toss these together. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff but not dry. In another mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until soft & fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks & almond essence. Stir in the remaining ground almonds into the cake mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold ½ into the egg, fat and sugar mixture. Then add the fruit and nut mixture and mix. Finally, stir in the remaining egg whites until well mixed. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin. Level off the surface – no well and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 1 hour or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin. When cool, dust with icing sugar.

Slice thickly with a sharp knife.

The times they are a changing

The clock went back an hour in the we small hours of the morning and once more we face shorter days with dark mornings and evenings. This change was heralded in by a blustery wet and grey day yesterday. We seem to have had a long dreary time for the past eighteen months with little sign of any summer weather.

In years past the weather never bothered me. I wrapped up and headed off at the drop of a hat to whatever took my fancy. Now however I notice a subtle change. As the day becomes monochrome my body goes cold and I begin to shiver. Going into my bedroom for any reason at this stage of the day is not a good idea. I could so easily jump into bed and pull the clothes over my head and stay there until spring. Instead I switch on the lights, turn up the music and draw the blinds. Doing the latter makes me more comfortable and it also prevents heat loss.

Something else I do with great regularity is change the desktop scene on my monitor. A happy photo of Elly giggling always brings joy to my soul. Sometimes I use a photo that I have taken while out walking or driving or a new family shot sent to me by email.

So today, as this fellow flies away

My screen changes to this:

When My Time Comes

“May I go outside for a smoke?” asked the young lady politely. She sounded so gentle that I hardly recognised her! Elly was on best behaviour. We felt very special as we were honoured guests at the home of the Bride-to-be, just two evenings before her wedding.

On our journey along the road in West Barnstable on the Cape the houses were brightly lit and decorated for the forthcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. On arrival at our destination the Bride’s brother was there to guide us to our parking space. The pathway to the door was lit by candlelight. It all looked very romantic. The greeting was heartfelt warm and welcoming, but to the disgust of our hosts we were arriving during a power outage. So life on the other side of the pond was not very different to that back in Ireland. We were quite used to power cuts back at home, sometimes they were scheduled but alas on other occasions, due to vandalism.

Introductions were made and we immediately felt at home and the chat flowed freely, the drink glowed in the candle light and we drank a toast to the young couple and to their families. After an hour the lights came on and our surroundings were revealed to us, a very comfortable home with some beautiful items of furniture.

Being a mid November evening and rather cold outside Elly was taken to the ‘Studio’ for her smoke. “Mum you should see the Studio!” Elly said to me on her return some time later. “Ask Stephen, I am sure he would love to show it to you!” I didn’t need to ask; Stephen had heard and immediately invited me to the tour. There I was in a foreign country, with a strange man, on my way to see his etchings wonderful works of art.

I already mentioned the table where I had my breakfast in a previous post. On this occasion I was enjoying work on a totally different plane, it showed the amazing talent and wonderful sense of humour of my host! Stephen only uses recycled items, timbers discarded and considered well past being useful. With careful thought, time, care and love he breathes new life into his amazing creations.

I actually sat in here.

Stephen calls it an ‘In-House’, it is actually a little office with desk and bench seat. The seat is lifted in the photo above! 😆

And for something totally different:


Or for when my time comes

To save space you can put me on end

I originally set out to write about cooking implements but the final item totally blew my mind and took me off on a tangent. I hope you enjoyed my travels!